Ok, so this recipe takes a little bit of prep but I can promise you it is worth the effort. I shared this beauty with my nutrition class and it was gobbled up in a matter of moments, in fact before I could even slather my own piece with butter (or coconut oil as is my case).
It is most unlike the standard gluten free breads available today, which have about as much nutritional value as saw dust. I like wonderfully dense bread, similar to an old fashioned German Rye bread. When I decided to go gluten free this was the one thing I missed most, nutritious freshly baked bread straight out of the oven. After trying to find a good store bought variety, I gave up and decided it was up to me to create the perfect loaf. This little number is best eaten straight out of the oven, or served toasted. Whilst baking the bread in the oven, it fills the kitchen with a wonderful aroma of sweet caramelised onions with a beautiful savory undertone from the rosemary. It should come with a warning though, it is seriously delicious. Be warned it may attract unwanted guests, like moths to a light… they come out in droves, well at least my husband does (not that I have multiple.. but you see where this is going)…
However, the real beauty behind this bread lies not only in the flavour but in the nutritional punch this little baby provides. It is also wonderful for women’s health, below I describe why it’s pretty damn good for you!
Traditionally used to stimulant mental function and acuity, it is now more commonly used for its potent antioxidants, loaded with the chief antioxidant rosmarinic acid. Studies have shown that this compound can reduce inflammatory responses by altering inflammatory molecules, such as leukotrienes B4, making it useful for those suffering from inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis 1.
Rosemary has also been found to enhance liver metabolism of endogenous oestrogens 2. This also encourages the more beneficial oestrogen metabolism pathways, boosting the 2:16 oestrogen ration which is a protective form of oestrogen and discouraging the d 4-OH and 16-OH oestrogen which has been shown to be proliferative 3.
Rosemary has also been found to have anti-proliferative effects on human leukaemia and breast carcinoma cells in vitro. These results are correlated with a reduction in inflammatory mediators IL-1β and COX-2. Specifically, the polyphenol carnosol in rosemary has been found to decrease inflammation and regulate proteins associated with apoptosis and cell cycles, making it a useful anti-carcinogen4.
Onions contain a variety of sulphur compounds that provide health benefits, particularly the enzyme allinase. Onions have been shown to have significant blood sugar lowering actions, comparable to the prescription drugs phenformin, often given to diabetics, believed to be due to the active constituent allyl propyl disulphide (APDS), shown to lower glucose by competing with insulin for breakdown sites in the liver, thereby increasing the life span of insulin 1. Wonderful for women who suffer from blood sugar regulation issues and wanting to avoid insulin spikes.
Despite the name, this grain is not made from wheat and actually isn’t a grain either, it is actually a fruit of plant related to rhubarb and sorrel family. This lovely seed contains two flavonoids, rutin and quercetin, as well as being a high source of magnesium, manganese, fibre, phosphorus, B-vitamins and protein. Why are these nutrients so important for women? Magnesium is essential for the functioning of more than 300 different enzymes in the body, particularly those that produce, transport, store, and utilize energy, such as functioning of all nerves and muscles and release and binding of adequate amounts of serotonin in the brain, helping with mood and anxiety (useful if pre-menstrual). Magnesium can also relax spasms in fallopian tubes that prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus 5. and assist with painful menstruation pain (try taking 800 mg of magnesium next time you have cramps instead of going for the nurofen).
This loaf is also loaded with high quality plant based omega 3 fatty acids, by way of chia seeds and flaxseeds, helping with brain function and mood, as well as healthy fats supporting endocrine function and making happy healthy hormones. Happy baking everyone.
– 2 c of buckwheat, soaked in warm water, add 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and leave for 8 – 24 hrs
– 1/4 c of chia seeds soaked in 1/2 cup of water (to form a gel)
– 1/4 c of flaxseeds soaked in 1/2 c up of water (to form a gel)
– 1/4 c of coconut oil melted gently on stove top or olive oil (or macadamia oil)
– 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (in addition to above)
– 1/2 tsp of aluminium free baking soda, 1/2 tsp of aluminium free baking powder
– 1/2 c of water (to a cup as required), in addition to that used for soaking buckwheat, chia and flax
– 3/4 tsp of salt
– 2 tsp of rice malt syrup (or 1 tsp coconut sugar)
– 2 brown (or red onions) onions
– 3 twigs of rosemary
After soaking buckwheat, rinse buckwheat under cold water and drain really well by placing in a sieve (ensure all water drained).
Add onions to food processor and dice, take out and set aside.
Add 1/2 drained buckwheat mixture to the food processor with salt, water, sugar, flaxseeds, chia seeds, oil. Process well until buckwheat well broken down(sort of gluggy), then add back in onions , rosemary, remaining buckwheat, apple cider vinegar, baking soda and baking powder. Process briefly until just mixed. (Note mixture should be quite wet and not stiff, if it is you need to add more water or oil)
Line a loaf tin with baking paper and grease further with a little oil, place mixture in loaf tin and bake at 160 degrees fan bake or 180 conventional oven until nice and brown and inside well cooked.
1. Pizzorno, J and Murray, M. The encyclopedia of healing food. London; Piatkus, 2005: pp 507
2. Braun, L and Cohen, M. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide. 2nd Ed. Sydney; Elsevier, 2007:pp545-47.
3. Metagenics.co.nz, Female Hormonal Disorders. (November, 2014)
4. Cheung S, Tai J. Anti-proliferative and antioxidant properties of rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis. Oncol Rep. 2007 Jun;17(6):1525-31.
5. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., author of The Magnesium Miracle (Ballantine Books, 2007)